Owner and Coach Brian G is back home. After a very successful cycle in Tennessee, the owner/coach earned the opportuinty to take over the team closest to his heart. Coach was known for making moves that baffed when he was in charge of the Titans. The roster changed drastically during the cycle but those baffling moves led to 4 straight super bowl appearences and 1 championship. This unorthadox way of bulding a team (which was called into question when the roster drastically fell below the minuimum players) had many in Carolina worried about what this roster would look like. Fortunately, Coach Brian deceided he loved the way this team in Carolina was set up and stayed strong while the rest of the league sent picks and superstars flying from Coast to Coast. This set the tone that he was going to be different in Carolina and build from within. We saw later that this would not last long.
After a good preseason, the Panthers started the season against the Rams. They were 10 point underdogs going into the game but that was not the case when they stepped on the field. The offense was relentless, Cam had a 93 yard touchdown pass to Curtis Samuel who finished the game with 256 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cam threw for 389 and 3 touchdowns and CMC had 99 total yards and 1 rush and 1 recieving touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, rookie Brian Burns had 4 sacks and the Panthers won 38-26.
Week 2 saw the Panthers hosting the divsional rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On the first play of the game, Cam threw a pick 6 and it looked like they were going to be in a dog fight. After the pick 6 though, the Panthers went on to score on all but 1 possesion the rest of the game. Newton finished with 354 & 3 TDs, as well as 30 rush yards and another touchdown on the ground. Samuel continued his hot start with a 175 yards receiving and a touchdown. CMC went off on the ground, rushing for 153 yards & 2 TDs and added another receiving TD. Burns had 2 sacks and LUKE, DJax and James Bradberry all had INTs. The final was 45-31.
In week 3, the Panthers left the friendly confines of Bank of America Stadium for Phoenix, Arizona and the Cardinals. With the Cardinals clearly in a rebuild. The Panthers were able to jump out to an early lead and not surrender it. Cam had 239 yards and another 3 touhcdowns as well as 58 yards rushing and a TD. Samuel had 161 and 3 touchdowns with a long of 63 yards, continuing his unbelievable start to the season. DJax had 2 more interceptions, Burns added 4 more sacks and Kuechly had 2 sacks also. The defense played very well and the offense proved the first two weeks werent a fluke. The final was 35-22.
Week 4 was a big matchup for Coach Brian, he was facing off with a Texans team that he was very familliar with and a Coach that he knew he could beat. The team prepared hard but Coach was quoted saying "If we do what we do, we know the outcome of this one". Well, the Panthers did what they do and stomped the Texans 42-17. Cam was great again, going 20-25 with 299 yards and 3 touchdowns, he also added a rushing touchdown again. CMC had 109 total yards and both a rushing and receiving touchdown. Samuel finished with a light 107 yards and 2 touchdowns. Moore with 114 and 1 touchdown.
There were rumors Moore was unhappy with his role in the offense going into the game. The 2nd year receivier from Maryland was suppose to have a breakout year this season but has been overshadowed by 3rd year receiver Curtis Samuel who had been hamprered by injuries his first two years. Coach promised he would get Moore involved, and he did, but Moore felt like he is being spruned. DJ is a huge part of the Panthers plans for the future and they are going to do everything in there power to keep him happy.
This brings the Panthers to a game with the Jaguars who are currently sitting at 2-2. After the Jags, they have a rematch with the Bucs, in Tampa Bay and then their bye week. After the bye, the schedule gets seriously tough with games against the Niners, Redskins, Saints (twice), Packers and Falcons (twice). The team is gearing up for this run against some of the NFC best and their division rivals who are both contenders (Saints are currently undefeated also). Because of this, Coach Brian G went back to his old ways and traded for elite CB Pat Peterson. Although Pat is older, he will give the Panthers two good years. They gave up this years first round pick, which they hope is not inside the top 25 and Kevon Seymour, they got a future 2nd round pick back in return. Heres to hoping this will help the Panthers get over the hump.